Clever Tips for Packing School Lunches

Back to school, back to routine. It can be a hectic transition, and when thinking of what to feed the little ones during their days at school, you want to ensure they have all the fuel and good nutrition they need to remain sharp. At the same time, you want to make it as quick and easy as possible, especially with that never-ending to-do list! You might be pleasantly surprised at how many snack and healthier food options you’ll find at London Drugs. Check out some clever ideas below for school lunch packing and snacking so your child has the energy needed to get through the school day.

Make Lunches Fun

Firstly, keep packed lunches interesting by providing options. Aim to have at least three of the four food groups in your child’s lunch. From there, mix and match to get the most variety. An example can be some cheese cubes, a ham sandwich and some grapes or a boiled egg, veggies and dip and some apple slices. You can also make lunches more exciting by using cookie cutters to cut shapes from sandwiches, cheese slices, etc.

If your kids don’t like typical lunch foods like sandwiches, why not try skewers? Again, you can mix and match with meat, cheese and veggies or a mix of fruit. BONUS: Include dipping options such as a light ranch or yogurt to make it extra fun.

Food Prep Goes a Long Way

Set a side one day a week to prepare school lunches. This could be prefilling food containers with hummus and dip or carrot sticks or making a big batch of homemade chicken noodle soup for the week ahead. The goal is to have everything ready so all you have to do is fill up your kids’ lunch boxes the night before or morning of the school day. TIP: PB&J sandwiches can actually be frozen in advance, which makes it a great lunch option to make in large batches. Just pack it in the morning and it will be thawed by lunch time.

Nutritious But Still Delicious!

Along with fresh fruits, veggies, dairy and meat products, you can also pack healthy versions your child’s favourite sugary snacks (that are just as tasty!) These include Smart Sweets, (no artificial colours or flavours, 3g of sugar and 24g of soluble fibre per bag!), Solar Raw Kale Chips, (packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) and Made Good Granola Bars and Minis (taste like dessert but contain the nutrients found in one full serving of vegetables!), New World Peanut Butters (just make sure to check with your child’s school for allergies) and Rudolfs Organic Jams (organic and no added preservatives)

Don’t fear, we’ve got you covered when it comes to gluten-free options too, like Annie’s Organic Fruit Snacks, Kind Bars, and The Gluten Free Bites.

For kids with allergies, Enjoy Life Chewy Bars are free of gluten and peanuts, while Freeyum Allergen-Friendly snacks are free of dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat/gluten, soy, fish, shellfish, sulphites and sesame.

Subscribe for Simplicity

Life gets busy. Between work, picking up and dropping off the kids from school, and taking them to their after-school activities, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for running errands like re-filling the pantry. Luckily, our new Snack Subscription can help with that. It’s an easy way to ensure you’re always stocked up on snacks for school lunches or weekend snacking – without having to run out the door. Simply search up your favourite snack product on our website and check the purchase options for the “subscribe for this product” button. From there, you can choose to receive it every 15, 30, 45, 60 or 90 days.

Pack with Reusables

Say goodbye to plastic bags and bottles and hello to reusable, eco-friendly options! These Lunch Kits, which come with a lunch box and water bottle, are reusable and are a great choice especially if your child’s school doesn’t allow paper or plastic bags for packed lunches. They can even be customized with your child’s favourite photos so they’ll always know which one is theirs. You can order the Lunch Kits in blue/blue, pink/pink and green/white from the London Drugs Photolab.

If you like to pack snacks like vegetables and fruit in small bags, there’s an eco-friendly packing option for that too. Stasher Reusable Food Bags are made with platinum silicone, so they’re durable and can be used over and over again. The material also prevents bacteria growth and is dishwasher and microwave safe!

 

 

Greener (and Affordable) Alternatives for Your Home

Greener alternatives for your home

They say change starts at home, and that’s especially true when you consider all the things that go in you, on you, and around you every day. Being a little greener in our consumption habits — whether that involves eliminating toxins, facilitating recycling, or reducing our ecological footprint — means making informed choices about the products we use daily.

Fortunately, there are lots of great, green choices available these days. Here are some of our favourites, and they’re all readily available at your local London Drugs!

Organic Snacks

There may be different perspectives on the health benefits of organic foods, but there’s no question that their production is easier on the planet. Here are some alternatives that make going organic as easy as snacking.

Que Pasa chipsQue Pasa Tortilla Chips and Salsa – Made in Delta, BC, in a certified zero-waste production facility, these chips are hand-cut from organic stone-ground corn tortillas. And the Que Pasa salsa is the perfect organic dip. Que Pasa is currently working toward being carbon neutral by 2020.

 

 

 

Nature's Path Love CrunchNature’s Path Love Crunch Premium Organic Granola Bars – These are good for kids’ lunches, but save a few for yourself… the dark chocolate makes them a well-loved parents’ snack too! They are 100% organic and non-GMO, their facilities are zero-waste, and they are working toward being carbon neutral by 2020.

 

 

 

Newman's Own Popcorn

Newman’s Own Organics Pop’s Corn – USDA organic corn, natural butter flavour, and all profits go to charity. Eat the whole bowl.


Greener Cleaners

These alternatives use natural or plant-based ingredients.

Attitude CleanerAttitude Cleaners – Worry-free ingredients, EcoLogo Certified, CO2 neutral, and Canadian made products ranging from personal care to household cleaners.

 

 

 

 

Method Cleaner

Method Cleaners – Method is a certified B Corp offering a full range of cleaning products made with the precautionary principle: if there’s a chance the ingredient is unsafe, they won’t use it.

 

 

 

Nellie's Laundry SoapNellie’s All Natural Laundry Products – 100% biodegradable and and free of toxins and phosphates, Nellie’s products are made in BC.
 


Greener for Your Body

Your skin is basically one giant sponge. So be careful what you put on it!

Live CleanLive Clean – This Canadian company offers nature personal care products that are free of SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate), parabens, and phthalates.

 

 

 

Green Beaver

Green Beaver – From mineral-based sunscreen to shampoo, deodorant, and even toothpaste, this Canadian company makes it a priority to use organic and local ingredients wherever possible.

 

 

 

Mineral FusionMineral Fusion Cosmetics – These beauty products are free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates, and are never tested on animals. Packaging contains recycled materials and is recyclable.

 


Greener Tech

The production and use of technology has a definite ecological footprint. Here are a few alternatives that can help lighten the load.

Certified Data – All computer and accessory products under this London Drugs brand are made to higher RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) standards. This standard is not required in North America, but we think it’s worth it. You can also bring back your gently used Certified Data computer box for a credit, so it can get used again. Learn more

HP Printer CartdrigesHP Printers and Cartridges – HP is a global brand committed to sustainability. (They were our Sustainable Vendor of the Year for 2017.) They design their printers for recycling, and have the best ink cartridge recycling and remanufacturing program out there.

 

 

 

 

Philips LED LightbulbsPhilips LED Lights – These high-tech beauties will pay for themselves in electricity savings — over 80% more efficient than old incandescent bulbs. And they are available in warm, bright, and dimmable options for almost every kind of fixture.

 

 

 

Sugar Sheet Copy PaperSugar Sheet Paper – Okay, not tech per se, but everyone needs to print sometimes. And this paper lets you do it without harming a single tree in the process. It’s made with bagasse, the waste product from sugar cane processing.

 

 


Greener Around the Kitchen

Seventh Generation Paper TowelsSeventh Generation Paper Towels – Clean up spills with a lighter touch on the planet. This paper town has a minimum of 80% post-consumer-waste recycled content and is unbleached.

 

 

 

 

London Drugs Scours

London Drugs Recycled Scours – Scour your home with scours made from recycled pop bottles.

 

 

 

 

The Green Bin Starter PackGreen Lid Compost Bucket – A Canadian-made solution for easy food scrap collection. No more stinky bucket – you just compost the whole thing!

 

 

 

 

Greenpan FrypanGreen Pan Frypans – Unlike traditional non-stick frypans made with Teflon, Green Pans are made with ceramic so the coating will not blister or peel. They also use upcycled stainless steel for the handles and upcycled aluminium for the cookware bodies.

 

 


There are a lot more green products for you and your home, available every day at London Drugs that are well worth the extra effort and care for your family and the planetary home we all share.

How to Cultivate a Gorgeously Green Garden

Eco-friendly gardening amplifies what nature has already perfected. Working with the flow of the seasons, let your imagination run wild, and cultivating a green garden will be a satisfying, thrilling, and therapeutic experience. With a bit of planning, persistence, and intuition, your earth-friendly garden can become your outdoor sanctuary for years to come.

Here are some tips to cultivate a gorgeous green garden in your very own backyard.   

Plan Your Garden

How to Cultivate a Green Garden

When the weather warms up, it’s tempting to get outside and start throwing seeds in the ground right away, but take a bit of time to plan your eco-friendly garden. It can go a long way toward boosting your long-term success.

Sketch out a quick map of your space and think about where you might place beds, raised boxes, containers, trellises, and pathways. You will (hopefully) be spending a lot of time in your garden, working the land and enjoying the space, so it’s worth putting in some forethought.

Consider the sun’s path throughout the day. This will help you get to know which areas have the most light/heat and which will be better suited to shade-grown plants like spinach and greens.

It’s also a great time to do an inventory of gardening tools, gloves, seeds, and soil. Set up a dry storage space that will be easily accessible to your garden.

Finally, it can be helpful to start a garden journal to keep track of your layout, planting plans, and harvest notes so you can adjust and improve things year over year.

Design Your Garden

How to Cultivate a Green Garden

Once you have a rough plan in place, it’s time to get out there and start digging!

You can reuse materials around the house to start creating structures in your garden. Bricks, stones, tiles, or logs, make great outlines for ground-level beds. You can mix and match with new structures as well. Concrete planters could be supplemented with old barrels, wooden boxes, or even a vintage sink or bathtub repurposed into raised beds. These will give plants extra warmth and help keep slugs and other pests out.

Vases, pots, and water jugs could make interesting containers for smaller plants. Mix in a few classic patio pots for a more modern look.

Don’t forget to install a little bench or chair in a nice sunny spot. You’ll need somewhere to put up your feet and enjoy the fruits of your labour on quiet afternoons. You could also install some of these nifty solar lights and turn it into a nighttime fairy garden.

Prepare Your Garden

How to Cultivate a Green Garden

Before planting, you’ll need to prepare your beds by working in homemade compost and setting up irrigation for the season.

Make sure you have a good working hose and nozzle ready for the months of watering ahead. Collecting rainwater is a great practice that lowers the demand on your main water supply and contributes to a more sustainable, efficient garden.

Now open up that handy gardening toolkit you prepared earlier and get ready to plant! Experiment with companion planting and see how different combinations fare. Be sure to make a note in your journal so you can adjust and rotate your crops next year.

Maintain Your GardenHow to cultivate a green garden

The true key to cultivating a gorgeous green garden is to keep it manageable. There is always a push required to get things set up and growing, but once the plants are established, your garden should switch into maintenance mode.

Now you can relax into watering daily, weeding as needed, and watching with fascination as things grow and develop. It’s curiously fun and exhilarating to see your garden transform before your eyes!

If you have space, mix things up with vegetable beds, herbs, small fruit trees, flowering trees, perennials, shrubs, and flowers. This will keep things blooming and fruiting across the entire season which is interesting and exciting.

It might also be a good time to add some fun decorations to your garden while you’re at it.

Share the Harvest

How to cultivate a green garden

Before harvest time, you’ll notice you’re not the only who has moved into your garden. Bees and birds (among other creatures) will be regular visitors, which can be a delight to watch.

Encourage birds to come by setting up a bird house. It’s fascinating to watch them feed, converse, and settle around the garden.  

Perennial herbs, like lavender, sage, and thyme, are great for attracting more pollinators too. They smell beautiful, require very little maintenance, and are great for cooking.

Finally, don’t forget to invite your friends and neighbours to enjoy your gorgeous green garden. They may be happy to lend a hand for harvesting, canning, pickling, and other fun food preserving activities that come along with a plentiful garden. Or, make it a relaxing evening in the garden while the sun sets. Light up a Citronella candle and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

With a little effort and care, your green garden will benefit you, your family, and your community for years to come.

Visit your local London Drugs or check out our outdoor living guide for more gardening tools and decor.

6 Earth-friendly Brands We Love

6 Earth-friendly Brands We Love
It’s not easy being green, but we’re working hard to make it a little easier for you to choose truly green products, by sourcing vendors and products that are going above and beyond to treat the planet — and you — with great care.

These six earth-friendly brands are some of our favourites for the lengths they go to in sustainability.

Nature's PathNatures Path

You may know Nature’s Path for its delicious granolas, but did you know Nature’s Path has been providing organic breakfast and snack foods since 1985? The family-owned company got its start in B.C. with a commitment to organic agriculture. Now North America’s largest organic cereal maker, it has won numerous awards for its achievements in business and sustainability. In 2018 it won London Drugs’ Sustainable Vendor of the Year award.

Attitude CleanersAttitude Cleaners

This made-in-Canada, cruelty-free, vegan, hypoallergenic, and EWG-verified and Ecologo-certified family of products ticks all the boxes when it comes to keeping your loved ones — and the planet — safe from toxins. Its offerings range from skin, hair and sun care to household cleaners and even pet care products. Learn more about its EWG-verified products.

HP computerHP

This maker of PCs and printers is a global leader when it comes to waste reduction. In 2017, the company achieved a waste diversion rate of 90.9% globally. It also achieved its goal to reduce the GHG emissions intensity of first-tier manufacturing and product transportation suppliers by 20% by 2020 — six years early! HP designs its printers and cartridges to be recycled and 48% of its new commercial desktop products contain greater than 10% post-consumer recycled plastic content. Learn more about its sustainable impact.

Philips Philips Light Bulbs

Philips offers great choices for energy-saving lighting products including LED lighting technology, which is an easy way for most people to reduce energy usage. The company is a leading player in the circular economy with lighting that can be reused and remanufactured. It is also working on a zero waste to landfill commitment. Philips has a target of being carbon neutral globally by 2020, with all of its power coming from renewable sources. Learn more about Philips’ sustainability initiatives.

Green Beaver Products Green Beaver Sunscreen

Green Beaver offers sunscreen with non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide mineral protection, an alternative to chemical sun blockers, that is 100% natural, biodegradable, and reef friendly. Its hair care and deodorant products are ECOCERT Certified with natural source and organic ingredients, and proudly made in Canada.

 

Salt Spring Coffee Salt Spring Coffee

Committed to providing fair-trade, organic coffee since 1996, Salt Spring Coffee was Canada’s first Fair Trade Coffee company. It is also a Certified B Corporation, has carbon-neutral production facilities, and uses 100% certified organic beans. Since 2001, it has supported coffee producers and their communities through its Fair to Farmer Program. Learn more about its sustainability initiatives.


We’re proud to carry these products and more. Learn more about our green initiatives at What’s the Green Deal?

How to ‘Green’ Your Photos This Earth Month

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… Re-live.

This April, do more for Mother Earth than just turning off the lights. Earth Month is a great opportunity to start making greener choices that will last a lifetime. Display your wedding or vacation photos on sustainable surfaces, and they will survive years to come, look great, and give you peace of mind that you’re helping the planet.

Don’t forget about recycling your old photos, either. Diverting those from your trash will make you feel like a sustainability superstar!

Bamboo Prints

Being environmentally friendly never looked so good. Our bamboo prints are made with 90% bamboo, a highly renewable resource, making it a great option for ‘greening’ your photos. The fibrous texture of the bamboo gives your images an incredibly unique look, with vivid shades, a crisp matte finish and maximized resistance to aging. The next time you’re choosing a print surface, try this durable, nature-approved solution guaranteed to stand the test of time.

Recycling Your Old Photos

Digitally saving and restoring your photos is without a doubt the best way to ensure memory preservation. As technology grows and changes, converting to digital can free up space in an attic of old shoe boxes, and reduce the risk of harsh damage due to temperature, humidity and dust. But what do you do with your hard copies after your holiday, honeymoon, or first day of school is saved to a disk or USB? As long as they’re digitally printed copies, you can likely recycle your old photos with the rest of your mixed paper recycling.

Not sure if your photos are of the digital print variety? Do a simple tear test! By tearing a corner of your photograph you’ll notice that it either tears clean, or in layers. Consider a clean tear a green light to recycle the photo.

If you also have old metal film canisters kicking around, those can be recycled too. In addition to your small appliances, batteries, laser cartridges and old photos, we will accept metal film canisters through our What’s the Green Deal? Program.

Let us at London Drugs help you reduce your memory footprint!

Earth Day Giveaway: Win an Emani Cosmetics Prize Pack

We’re celebrating Earth Day with Emani Cosmetics, and you could win a prize pack of their most popular eco-friendly products!

Emani Cosmetics is a line of eco-conscious beauty products that are vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and natural. The formulas are also 100% talc-free, paraben-free and free of petrochemicals and other irritants. Plus, their packaging is even made of recycled and biodegradable paper. They’re the perfect way to eco-fy your makeup routine for Earth Day!

Here’s how to enter our Emani Cosmetics giveaway:

  1. Follow @LDCosmetics on Instagram
  2. Leave a comment on one of the Emani Earth Day Giveaway Instagram posts

The Emani Earth Day Prize Pack includes: 1 Emani Primer Serum, 1 Emani Organic Soy Mascara, 2 Emani Lip Shine Lip Glosses, and 1 Emani Sculpting Pressed Blush.

 

Contest closes at 11:59AM PST Sunday, April 24, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random. One winner will be chosen from all Instagram entries.

4 Eco-Friendly Beauty Brands to Try this Earth Month

April is Earth Month, and while many will celebrate by making the effort to recycle a little more, start to compost, or help clean a park, how about making some sustainable choices when it comes to your makeup routine too? Our Beauty Advisors have chosen the best eco-friendly beauty products and tools from London Drugs that will make you feel good about what you’re putting on your face.

 

Emani Cosmetics

Emani Cosmetics

This eco-conscious line of beauty products is vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and natural. A healthy choice for you and your skin, the formulas are 100% talc-free, paraben-free, and free of petrochemicals and other irritants. A must-try is Emani’s ‘Perfect 10’ Primer Serum, which is packed with 10 different organic extracts to nourish, moisturize and soften the skin. An added bonus: the packaging is made of recycled and biodegradable paper!

 Eco Tools

Eco Tools

You can eco-fy your makeup brushes too! Eco Tools’ line of makeup brushes are earth-friendly from top to bottom. The handles are made from bamboo, a low impact material that is highly sustainable, and the metal ferrule is created from recycled aluminum. Eco Tools’ synthetic brush bristles are also 100% cruelty free. Even their brush cases are sustainable, made from natural cotton and hemp, or reusable and biodegradable EVA plastic.

 

Burt's Bees

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees has been a long-time favourite of lip balm lovers, but did you know their products are made from 97% natural ingredients? Plus the majority of their packaging is made from recycled content! They’ve also trimmed excess packaging by as much as 50% on some of their packaging. Burt’s Bees has even committed themselves to a policy of sending zero waste to landfills at their plant – a big move to help lighten our carbon footprint. If you haven’t given their brand new 100% natural lipsticks a try yet, Earth Month is the perfect time!

 

Physician's Formula

Physicians Formula Organic Wear

Physicians Formula has created an Organic Wear line, which promises 100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin. All of the products are also free of harsh chemicals, synthetic preservatives, parabens, GMO’s and synthetic colours and fragrances. Each product boasts its own eco-friendly features, from 100% recyclable mascara brushes, to certified organic ingredients (like this bronzer). The Organic Wear line is also 100% cruelty-free!

 

Make the switch to these ‘green’ beauty options, and your skin (and our planet) will thank you!

 

 

Next Page »